Since today is the last day of Black History Month, let’s have a black history quiz:
What do the following people have in common? (Chart from the Washington Post)
Yes, they are black. (Why else would they be in this quiz?) But they also represent a significant minority.
Of the 1,950 people who have served in the U.S. Senate, these nine are the only African Americans to hold a seat in the upper chamber of Congress.
Hyram Revels and Blanche Bruce were both senators from Mississippi who served during the post Civil War Reconstruction of the South from 1870-71 and 1875-1881, respectively. Both were appointed by the Mississippi State Legislature, but Bruce was the first black person for serve a full Senate term.
Edward Brooke (1967-1979) of Massachusetts was the first African American to win a Senate seat in a popular vote. The Bay State also was represented by Mo Cowan, who was appointed to the seat in 2013 to fill out the vacancy created by the appointment of John F. Kerry to the post of Secretary of State. Ed Markey now holds that seat.
Illinois has had three black senators, Carol Moseley Braun (1993-1999)), Barack Obama (2005-2008) and Roland Burris (2009-2010). Moseley Braun is the only African American to serve a full term as an Illinois senator. Obama … well, you know what happened to him. Burris was appointed to finish Obama’s term.
Tim Scott of South Carolina was appointed to the Senate in 2013 when Jim DeMint decided he was going to go to the Heritage Foundation to make a lot of money. It will be interesting to see what happens this year, when Scott faces a special election to complete the term. He’s only the third black person to represent a Southern state.
And Cory Booker of New Jersey was elected last year in a special election, but he runs again this year for a full term.
So, by the numbers, There have been five black Democrats and four black Republicans in the Senate. Three have been appointed. Two are up for re-election this year. And one became president.
An interesting countdown for such a tiny group.
It’s pretty sad to hear a convincing argument on why Richard Nixon was a better president for the poor than Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. But when he explains that Nixon’s social programs were the result of a powerful liberal coalition that fought for those causes, it’s clear the results were inevitable.
The next time your crazy, Tea Bagging Uncle Muggs bloviates on how that Kenyan, socialist usurper in the White House and every pinko commie Democrat president (and he will say “Democrat” instead of “Democratic” because that’s the way Tea Baggers speak) are giving away the hard-earned cash of America’s job creators to the moocher class, pull out this chart (via Bloomberg):
1) The “job creators” put their money in the stock market because they have so much of it. There’s no where else to put it. The “moocher class” doesn’t put money in the stock market, because, hey, ya gotta eat. So, really, who do you think is suffering when a president actually talks about raising a minimum wage? That guy with the top hat and the monocle on the Monopoly board?
2) The premise of this chart is flawed, because anyone who knows anything about investing in the stock market will say you don’t pull all your money out of it when there’s a president of a different party in office. Surely, you can’t believe that the minute Bill Clinton and Barack Obama walked in the White House, the billionaires funding the Tea Party called their stock brokers and said “Sell everything. We’ve got to get out of this commie market!” They left their cash where it was, and the billions flowed in.
On the other hand, your crazy, Tea Bagging Uncle Muggs is the kind of guy who did sell all of his stocks and buried his cash in his backyard bomb shelter when the hated Democrats took power.
That might explain why he’s so pissed off that his retirement fund that “hasn’t done Jack” since he built his portfolio when Dick Nixon took office. (I would have said “began his 401(k),” but those didn’t exist until Jimmy Carter’s administration, and Uncle Muggs would never put his money in anything that was created when that peanut farmer was president.)
Yeah, that chart proves the Democrats hate capitalism. After all, it grows like weeds when they’re in office.
Here’s something for someone who is middle class and anti-union to consider:
The decline of unions — 11.3 percent of workers were represented in 2012 compared with 20.1 percent in 1983 — has advantaged bosses at the expense of their employees.
Why does this matter?
Even those with college degrees are having trouble keeping up, he said. While they earn more than those with less schooling, they’ve seen no real wage growth in recent years. The median income of men 25 years of age and older with a bachelor’s degree was $56,656 last year, 10 percent less than in 2007 after taking account of inflation, according to Census data.
Surely someone did well last year. Stock prices set an amazing number of records:
[R]ecord-high stock prices are enriching wealthier Americans, exacerbating polarization and bringing income inequality to the political forefront. Even independent government agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve have been dragged into the debate. …
The richest 10 percent of Americans earned a larger share of income last year than at any time since 1917, according to Emmanuel Saez, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley. Those in the top one-tenth of income distribution made at least $146,000 in 2012, almost 12 times what those in the bottom tenth made, Census Bureau data show.
- Americans on Wrong Side of Income Gap Run Out of Means to Cope – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Americans on the wrong side of pay gap run out of means to cope (stltoday.com)
- Income gap grows againafter recession (jsonline.com)
- Americans on Wrong Side of Pay Gap Run Out of Means to Cope – Bloomberg (jdeanicite.typepad.com)
- Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty’s Graph of the Year (washingtonpost.com)
Looks like the political world is about to have a civil war. But it’s being narrowed to one party (from the Wall Street Journal):
Republican leaders and their corporate allies have launched an array of efforts aimed at diminishing the clout of the party’s most conservative activists and promoting legislation instead of confrontation next year.
GOP House leaders are taking steps to impose discipline on wavering committee chairmen and tea-party factions. Meanwhile, major donors and advocacy groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads, are preparing an aggressive effort to groom and support more centrist Republican candidates for Congress in 2014′s midterm elections. …
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce early next year plans to roll out an aggressive effort—expected to cost at least $50 million—to support establishment, business-friendly candidates in primaries and the general election, with an aim of trying to win a Republican Senate majority.
“Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” said the business group’s top political strategist, Scott Reed. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”
Any idea how this is going to work? You can’t stop fools from running. And you can’t stop fools from voting for them.
Meanwhile (via the Arizona Evening Star):
The problem: The 16th president never said the things about class warfare Melvin is quoting.
For example, in postings last week on Twitter, the state senator from Tucson wrote, “You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.” That quote, Melvin said, came from Lincoln.
Ditto for a quote of, “You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich,” and “You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.”
None of these came from Lincoln, Brooks Simpson, a professor of history at Arizona State University, said when asked about the quotes by Capitol Media Services.
“I can tell you that these quotes are spurious,” Simpson said. “They do not appear in Lincoln’s writings or in his recollected words.”
Seems the “no fools” strategy is off to a rocky start.
- GOP lawmaker attacks Obama with false Lincoln quotes that ‘sounded good’ (rawstory.com)
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce to spend $50 million to Crush Tea Party (dailypaul.com)
- While attacking Obama, GOPer misattributes quotes about ‘class hatred’ to Lincoln (freakoutnation.com)
- Chamber Of Commerce, GOP Establishment Gear Up For Assault On Tea Party (personalliberty.com)